Gro For Good Supports Academic Teams in Penn State’s 2021 Nittany AI Challenge

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Gro Intelligence’s Gro for Good program supported several teams in Penn State’s 2021 Nittany AI Challenge, an academic competition during which students build AI-powered, sustainable applications across education, environment, health, and humanitarianism. 

Using Gro’s data, students were able to build real-world solutions for the agricultural and climate challenges facing the world today. One team used the Gro Platform to access current and historical produce prices and establish guidelines for fair and competitive prices. They then built an e-commerce website called Table Rock Markets, which allows farmers in Pennsylvania and other states to sell their produce at regional farmers’ markets.

“The data provided by Gro gives our farmers a competitive advantage with direct-to-consumer sales through our eCommerce platform,” said Jake Grim, Founder of Table Rock Markets. Grim and his team made it to the finals, which takes place Tuesday evening, September 28th. 

“Gro Intelligence and the Nittany AI Challenge have played a key role in our early-stage success as a startup here at Penn State University,” he said. “We are excited to continue working with Gro Intelligence as we develop a more sustainable future in agriculture.”

In 2020, One Penn State Team Used Gro Data for a Fresh Produce Trading System

Last year, Gro Intelligence also supported several students who competed in the Nittany AI Challenge. For that Challenge, students used Gro’s produce data to create a prototype of a fresh produce trading system in Kenya. Through Gro for Good, students gain invaluable access to Gro’s continually expanding library of machine-learning models and clean, structured datasets across agriculture, climate, and the economy.

“When I was a graduate student at Penn State, one of the big issues for my research was the shortage of data, especially the organized and clean data,” said Wei Jiang, who graduated from Penn State with a PhD in Forest Resources.

Jordan Strater, who recently graduated from the University of New Hampshire with an M.S. in Natural Resources and a focus in Agricultural Economics, agreed. “Finding good, reliable agricultural and climate data can be so challenging, particularly as a student,” she said.

Strater and Jiang are now a Research Analyst and a Data Scientist, respectively, at Gro, and they appreciate the easy access to 60 million unique data series and 650 trillion data points from a vast array of global sources - government releases, licensed private sources, and satellite data. Gro’s AI-powered datasets are curated by domain experts, allowing users to see the big picture and act on the small details.

“When I came to Gro, I was astonished by working with so much agricultural and environmental data. This event is a really wonderful opportunity for me to explore the possibilities of linking industry abundant data with the academic world,” said Jiang.

“This is a truly rewarding opportunity to help Penn State students work on inspirational projects and to help advise them on machine-learning algorithms and how to find the right data,” said Yuri Shlyakhter, a Senior Quantitative Scientist at Gro with a PhD in Physics from Penn State. “I am hoping to make Gro data and models available to a wider Penn State community.”

Gro for Good Is Available for All Academic and NGO Teams

Gro for Good provides Premium level access at no cost to academics, non-profits, and growers who are working on climate change and food security. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with teams by providing the necessary tools to build a world we all want to see.

If you work in academia and aren’t yet a Gro for Good user, we encourage you to apply today.

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